Lately, I really feel that I ranted rather a lot. Normally, I hold it to myself as a result of there are lots of methods to have a look at issues. This time, I really feel that I want to specific my ideas on this: Are we able to swap PMDs on the footpaths to eBikes on the street?

Background

With out warning, on 4th November 2019, our Singapore Authorities introduced that every one PMDs (Private Mobility Units) are banned from footpaths from 5th November 2019 onwards.

The largest influence on this information is meals supply riders from the meals supply corporations like GrabFood, Deliveroo, Foodpanda and and so on.

Then, in an announcement on Friday (8th November), the federal government introduced a joint grant (along with 3 main meals supply corporations – Seize, Deliveroo, Foodpanda) of S$7 million to let these food-delivery riders transit from PMD to a different type of transport to keep away from the lack of their livelihood because of the ban.

This type of transport may be PAB (Energy Assisted Bicycle), PMA (Private Mobility Aids) or the non-powered bicycles.

You’ll be able to learn the official information under

$7 million E-Scooter Commerce-in Grant to Assist Meals Supply Riders Swap to Different Modes of Transport

This eScooter Commerce-in Grant (eTG) permits registered supply riders to commerce in as much as S$1,000.

Below this scheme, LTA will match dollar-for-dollar the meals supply corporations’ funding assist for his or her meals supply riders who commerce of their current e-scooters for different LTA-approved units – and every rider will obtain an eTG of as much as $1,000 for PABs or $600 for bicycle. For supply riders with mobility difficulties who’re eligible to make use of PMAs and want to proceed working for his or her supply firm, they too will obtain an eTG of as much as $1,000.

The Threat and Why

Based mostly on the chain of occasions, all appear effectively. The Singapore Authorities has taken speedy steps to assist these affected by this ban.

Nevertheless, as an individual who drives, rides a bicycle and in addition rides PMDs, I can already see the warning lights of a catastrophe coming.

You may suppose that altering from a PMD to a PAB is simply upgrading the wheel measurement and including a pair of pedals to a PMD. On the whole, you could be right.

The issue is that additionally, you will be “upgrading” from a footpath to the street. This, for my part, goes to go down badly.

Firstly, Singapore roads will not be bicycle or PAB pleasant. In contrast to some international locations, our bicycle lanes will not be on the street. It’s often with the footpaths.

For illustration functions solely.

And Singapore drivers will not be precisely good at co-existing with bicycles or PABs on the street.

Secondly, PMD customers will not be conversant in Singapore street situations. On a footpath, as an ex-PMD person, the worst you may get is to collide with a pedestrian, a bicycle, different PMDs or fall off from it. On a street, you’re susceptible to getting hit by vehicles touring at excessive velocity along with your minimal safety (helmet) since you are small (as in comparison with them) and can’t be seen from their blind spots.

Thirdly, site visitors guidelines apply. What number of of our PMD customers (which are upgrading to PAB customers) are conversant in them?

For instance, to make a proper activate a Singapore street, the rider must filter to the proper on the street and observe the site visitors guidelines to show proper. With out expertise and data, I consider it will likely be disastrous to each the PAB riders and motorists. It’s like getting somebody with no driver’s license to drive on a street.

After all, you possibly can argue that they’ll use the site visitors lights to cross the street. You might be right in the event that they trouble to dismount from their PABs, push them throughout the site visitors junctions and be a part of again to the street after the crossing. What number of, do you suppose, will do that?

Fourthly, jams on the footpath and PCNs (Park Connectors). With the ban of PMDs on footpaths, some will swap to PABs. PABs are typically bigger and take up more room. On footpaths, PAB customers should push their PABs after dismounting. Think about the width wanted for the PAB and the particular person pushing it. Pedestrians should squeeze by them on footpaths.

Likewise, for PCNs, extra PABs will imply more room wanted for them to co-exist with park customers. Based mostly on our present PCNs, not all are upgraded with wider width.

Abstract

I discover it arduous to consider that the Singapore Authorities would push a ban with out complete ideas on the result. For instance, if the PMD riders’ didn’t complain, will the eTG (eScooter Commerce-in Grant) occurs? Did our Authorities give it some thought within the first place? What’s the anticipated consequence of the ban?

That is my model of “expectation vs actuality”.

Expectation:

  • Lesser complains of PMDs on footpaths.
  • Lesser folks injured by PMDs on footpaths or PCNs.
  • Individuals are proud of the swift determination on the ban.
  • The objective of car-lite society continues regardless of the small hiccups.

Actuality:

  • Rising complains from motorists on PAB customers on the street.
  • Extra reported accidents (together with deadly accidents) of PAB customers on the street
  • Extra insurance coverage claims towards PAB customers on the street
  • Rising complains of PABs blocking the footpaths.
  • Rising complains of congestion on PCNs as a consequence of PABs
  • Rising reported instances of individuals injured by PABs on PCNs
  • eScooter enterprise house owners closing retailers due to the ban
  • Individuals are pissed off as a result of they adopted the Authorities’s suggestions to register their eScooters, improve them to adjust to UL2272 certification simply earlier than the ban.
  • Speedsters on PMDs proceed to experience on the street at excessive velocity.

There isn’t any excellent approach to resolve the problems. I’m ranting as a result of if I can see the unfavorable consequence of the ban, why can’t our Authorities see them. I’m not towards the ban. I’m towards the way in which it was instantly carried out that affects the PMD customers and the PMD/meals supply companies.

Extra ideas ought to have been carried out. Why wasn’t AMAP (Energetic Mobility Advisory Panel) being consulted earlier than the ban? If AMAP was so essential within the determination to permit PMDs on footpaths and PCNs initially, they need to be within the dialogue to ban PMDs on footpaths.

What do you suppose?